Putting the Manly in Manicure
By NICK BURNS
Walking into Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers at 120 East 56th Street in Manhattan, you’ll find clients waiting for their services at a wood-paneled bar and sipping a pint of beer, glass of wine or a Grey Goose on the rocks, while watching Bloomberg News or World Cup soccer. The owners aren’t trying to get guys drunk so they’ll sit still for a manicure, but they do want to help them relax and to feel as if they are the most important person in the room.
“When you walk in, someone offers to take your coat and bag and then offers you a drink,” said Joe Marchesi, a co-owner. “It feels like walking into a four-star hotel. With the lounge and bar in front, it takes the pressure off. Most guys don’t want to sit in a waiting area.”
Truman's Gentlemen's Groomers offers acrylic dividers emblazoned with black-and-white surfing photographs between each station, blocking out the man in the neighboring chair — and allowing clients to relax without fear they'll be spotted wearing those ubiquitous white cloth spa slippers while their shoes are being shined downstairs.
"Guys don't want to lock eyes with another guy when they're getting a manicure, and no guys want to be seen in a pedicure chair," Mr. Marchesi said.
Truman's Gentlemen's Groomers renamed its manicures and pedicures "handshake maintenance" and "foot repair" to recast the services in a masculine light.
"Pedicure sounds like a touchy-feely spa thing," Mr. Marchesi said. "Men are results oriented. Call it a foot repair and guys know what the result will be."